10 Tips to keep your dog safe while hiking this summer

3 min read

One of the biggest reasons pet owners leave city limits and travel with their dogs is to be able to enjoy the great outdoors with them. A hike with your dog is a great activity to include in any itinerary.

Most dogs love the outdoors and witnessing their energy and unfiltered enjoyment can be very satisfying for owners. We can all agree that it’s a great way to bond with your best friend.

But it’s important to be prepared so that every hike can be safe as well as memorable. Here are some tips to keep in mind when bringing your dog on a hike.

1 Always bring a leash:

It can be fun seeing your dog run free without a leash but don’t forget to pack his leash.

Even if trail regulations permit off-leash time, it’s courteous to keep your pet on a leash on busy hiking trails.

2. Pre-hike Training for you and your dog:

Before you and your dog travel or go for a hike, make sure your dog is well socialized and comfortable around people, dogs, and new experiences. If needed, take a training class together or check out some youtube videos on what to expect.

3. Bring dog specific first aid:

You should have a dog specific first aid kit or supplement your own kit with items for your dog. You will feel more prepared and your pup will thank you in case of an emergency.

4. Pack treats and food for your pet:

Whether a long or short hike, treats are always helpful to keep your furry friend motivated and energized. For daylong or multi-day hiking make sure to bring non-perishable food items as well.  Also a day of hiking can burn considerably more calories than your dog normally does so it’s okay to reward them with extra treats.

5. Pack lots of water:
Keeping your dog hydrated is extremely important no matter the outdoor temperatures. Make sure you carry extra water for your pup to avoid dehydration.

6. Have your dog carry a pack:
Larger dogs can carry their own backpacks, but test out the weight beforehand so its not too heavy for your pup. Also make sure it won’t slide off his back!

7. Pick Up Their Poop:
While you might be tempted to leave your dog’s poop out on the hiking trail, don’t. Practice good citizenship by always bringing a poop bag with you. Other dogs and their owners will appreciate your thoughtfulness and you may get fined by a ranger if you break the rule!

8. Read the trail regulations:

Check the dog rules for the hiking trail you picked. Are dogs welcome? Are they allowed off their leash? How long is the hike and what difficulty?
The trail rules are meant to ensure your dog’s safety and the safety of others.

9. Pack extra dog clothing:

This applies to hiking and any form of pet travel. Consider the weather and bring appropriate clothing for your dog. When on the move, your dog probably won’t need a jacket, but on long breaks or overnight, clothing will keep your pup warm and happy.

10. Bring a favorite dog toy:

Bringing your dog’s toys will give your dog something to do while you make a pit stop. Your pup will be happy to play fetch or simply have somethng to chew on while you take in those scenic vistas.